Andrew Hammond‘s stellar work along with some solid defense helped the Binghamton Senators beat the frustrated Syracuse Crunch by a score of 6-3 at the War Memorial. Hammond’s 35 saves earned him back to back wins for the weekend and kept Syracuse from earning a point in seven straight games. The offense also kicked it up a notch this weekend having scored six goals in each Senators win. Binghamton maintains their three-point lead in the East while Syracuse falls to the basement in the division. A happy bus ride home from their I-81 rivals as the Senators win their seventh of eight against the Crunch with two more to go this season.
We are off and running for the eighth time this season Stephane Da Costa flips the puck into the crowd to draw the delay of game penalty for the Crunch power play. Brett Connolly cashes in on the man advantage with a perfect shot from a sharp angle that surprises Hammond and in for the early 1-0 lead. Geoff Walker dumps Matt Puempel in the corner and now it’s the Senators turn on the power play. Good puck movement and fluidity from the first unit but Kristers Gudlevskis is there making several saves. Senators look good as they got their legs and are in it.
Buddy Robinson gets an interference call and sits for two minutes and it’s the Sens that would tie up the game on a shorthanded goal by Jim O’Brien, his sixth of the season. Cole Schneider feeds the puck over to OB and he gets his own rebound in past Gudlevskis. Then it’s Chris Wideman collecting his 25th assist by shooting in on net from his blue line as Andre Petersson gets the tip in by Gudlevskisfor a 2-1 Sens lead. A minute later, Da Costa from his own zone threads a breakout pass to a speeding Puempel as Matt splits the defense and turns on the burners for a one on one against Gudlevskis and scores top left for a 3-1 lead. Great play for the power play goal.
As the period winds down a rather flukey goal coming from Connolly as he notches his second of the game when his shot is re-directed in off of Fredrik Claesson‘s face past Hammond to cut the lead to one. Freddy seems shaken up on the play but skates off under his own power. Pierre-Cedric Labrie gets a boarding call as he hits Mike Sdao down to the ice and the Sens end the first on the power play.
Sens up a man for another minute to start the second as Cedrick Desjardins replaces Gudlevskis in net for Syracuse. Penalty is over with nothing to show as Da Costa almost breaks in alone on Desjardins but is whistle off sides as Stephane is pissed. Hammond good save on Joey Mormina‘s shot from close in as Andrew is having a strong game. Mike Angelidis can’t pull the trigger on the rebound as he had an open net with Hammy on his stomach. Much of the play is in the Senators zone as the Crunch are applying good pressure.
Desjardins coming up with the glove save on Hoffman’s wrist shot from the high slot as the Senators are playing better. Game briefly turns into a run and gun type which suits Binghamton and we would get some high quality chances but Desjardins is there making some high light reel saves. Jean-Gabriel Pageau skates up ice through the neutral zone into the offensive one and shoots but is denied as he skates in behind Desjardins after the whistle blows which draws the ire of the Crunch. Penalties called in the scrum with Sens getting a power play out of it when all said and done.
That’s exactly what the Senators want as they pepper Desjardins throughout the man advantage and break through when Shane Prince tips in Danny New‘s slapper in past Desjardins for the power play tally and regain the two goal lead, 4-2. That’s goal number eight for Prince on the season. Hammond had a strong period keeping the B-Sens in it.
Connolly completes the hat trick with Petersson in the box for boarding into the third as Vladislav Namestnikov passes from the corner gets a quick re-direct into the top left corner which Hammond had no chance on. As Ben Blood shoves Walker into the corner boards Labrie doesn’t care for it and challenges Blood and then Mark Borowiecki as his ego gets the best of him and receives a 10 minute misconduct. Nice work Labrie and the Sens send their thanks as well.
Corey Cowick would score his seventh carrying the black disc down into the offensive zone and crashes the net with a backhander in and the Senators are up again by two, 5-3. Syracuse appears frustrated and pulls Desjardins with just under three minutes left in the period and that call would quickly back fire by Namestnikov’s whiffing on the puck on his own blue line. Pager grabs it and skates down with Petersson and pulls an Erik Karlsson and gives it to Andre for the easy goal ten feet away from the cage. That’s a wrap with the Senators winning their seventh game in eight tries this season against Syracuse.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Special teams rocked as the Senators scored two power play goals and a shorthanded one as well. For a second night in a row the power play looked fluid and in control after previously going 1 for 25.
- The defense was the difference tonight as they closed down the shooting lanes and played smothering hockey shutting down everyone that wasn’t named Brett. Good tight defense in front of Hammond is what we needed and got.
- Real class act by Labrie as his mouth gets in the way drawing 14 minutes of penalties that kept him out of action. Way to keep your team in it Pierre as it cost your club three goals.
- Desjardins came into relief and made 17 saves on 19 shots after replacing Gudlevskis who let in three goals on 11 shots in the first.
- New was a game day decision as he was banged up pretty good after last night’s contest and gave it a go while assisting on Prince’s goal in the second.
- Pretty special play by Pageau as he gave the puck over to Petersson for the empty netter instead of padding his own points. As I mentioned earlier, just like Erik Karlsson did with Clarke MacArthur a couple of weeks ago in Ottawa.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Connolly (3g)
- #2 Pageau (3a)
- #3 Namestnikov (2a)
Friday Night host Albany Devils